The Kenai Central football team found enough magic on defense to stay in Saturday night’s game against Lathrop. They just couldn’t find enough on offense.
The Kardinals lost a nonconference matchup against the Malamutes 7-6 in Fairbanks to drop to 0-2 overall in 2014.
The game stayed scoreless after three quarters of play, but on the first play of the fourth, Chase Logan ran 32 yards for a Kenai lead. Unfortunately, the extra-point kick missed, which turned out to be the difference.
Just 66 seconds later, Lathrop quarterback Glenn Maiden found Nathan Barnett in the end zone on a 41-yard touchdown pass to give Lathrop the lead.
With 4:45 to play, Kenai found itself on the Lathrop 36-yard line on fourth down, but quarterback Jace Baker’s pass attempt to Kyle Foree soared too high.
Earlier in the game, Kenai stopped Lathrop with inches to go to their own end zone, and with 2:51 left in the game, the Kardinals stood tall on another goal-line stand, stuffing the Malamutes on fourth down to take over on the Kenai 10-yard line.
However, the Kards could not get a drive going, turning the ball over again on fourth down with 48 seconds left on their 1-yard line.
Nikiski 16, Houston 6
The Bulldogs escaped the Matanuska-Susitna valleys with a nonconference win over Houston on Friday night, getting two touchdowns from junior Luke Johnson.
Nikiski coach Ted Riddall said he believed his team might have come in with overly high expectations for a game against a Houston squad that has experienced its share of struggles recently.
“Some of other kids were stepping into roles they’ve never had and were a little unsure of themselves,” Riddall said. “I think the kids were overlooking Houston.
“As coaches, we don’t try to put focus on the other team, it’s about getting better.”
Junior Christian Riddall sat out for precautionary measures after taking a blow to his calf the previous week against Thunder Mountain. Both Johnson touchdown runs were followed by a two-point conversion from Dylan Jackson.
Houston actually took the first lead of the game early in the third quarter, but Riddall said he believed that helped motivate Nikiski to come back.
Kodiak 22, Homer 20
The host Bears took the lead in the fourth quarter, then held off a late Homer drive to pick up the Northern Lights Conference victory Saturday in rainy and windy conditions.
Kodiak improves to 1-0 in the conference and 1-1 overall, while Homer falls to 0-1 in the league and 0-2 overall.
With 8:33 left in the fourth quarter, Isagani Galindez tied the game at 20 with a 3-yard touchdown run. Galindez then put the Bears up 22-20 with a run for a two-point conversion.
Homer then drove all the way down to Kodiak’s 6-yard line, but Kodiak was able to recover a fumble with 2:54 left. The Bears then picked up one first down and ran out the clock.
Kodiak struck first in the game, but Josh Fisk answered with a 61-yard scoring dash for a 6-6 game at the end of one quarter.
Kodiak again took the lead in the second quarter, but Connor Seay caught a 34-yard touchdown pass from Sheldon Hutt, then Hutt ran in the conversion for a 14-all game at the half.
Homer took its first lead of the game on a 1-yard run by Fisk, who ran 17 times for 124 yards, with 5:29 left in the third quarter.
Eielson 51, Seward 0
The host Ravens cruised to a Greatland Conference victory to move to 1-0 in the league and 2-0 overall. Seward fell to 0-1 and 1-1.
Eielson did not have senior Anthony Griffith, one of the top running backs in the state, available due to a lower-body injury.
But junior Kalib Dunlap picked up the slack, scoring twice and rushing for 190 yards on 10 carries.
Eielson’s defense also was dominant, getting 11 sacks against Seward quarterback Alex Pahno.
Valdez 44, Voznesenka 8
The Buccaneers took advantage of inexperience from Voznesenka and dominated in a Greatland Conference win over the Cougars.
After trailing Valdez 29-0 at halftime, Kiril Sanarov scored Voznesenka’s lone touchdown on the opening drive of the second half. Quarterback Gavril Kalugin recorded the two-point conversion.
Voznesenka coach Justin Zank said his team was playing with six freshman on defense and seven on offense in the Cougars’ first game of the year.
“It definitely showed,” Zank said. “That and the travel wore on us, I think.”
BEARS 22, MARINERS 20
Homer 6 8 6 0 — 20
Kodiak 6 8 0 8 — 22
Kod — Javier 22 run (kick failed), 9:24
Hom — Fisk 61 run (run failed), 7:24
Kod — Galindez 14 run (Galindez run), 11:55
Hom — Seay 34 pass from Hutt (Hutt run), 0:34
Hom — Fisk 1 run (run failed), 5:29
Kod — Galindez 3 run (Galindez run), 8:33
First downs 11 11
Rushes-yards 40-184 57-242
Passing yards 70 0
Passes 3-6-0 0-0-0
Punts 1 1
Fumbles-lost 4-3 1-1
Penalties-yards 7-55 6-60
Rushing — Homer: Fisk 17-124, Hutt 19-39, Seay 3-19, Lueth 1-2. Kodiak: Javier 21-82, Galindez 16-87, Kionisala 14-66, Small 5-8, Miranda 1-(-1).
Passing — Homer: Hutt 3-6-0 — 70.
Receiving — Homer: Fisk 1-23, Lowe 1-13, Seay 1-34.
RAVENS 51, SEAHAWKS 0
Seward 0 0 0 0 —0
Eielson 14 24 6 7 —51
Eielson—Dunlap 50 run (kick failed), 6:14.
Eielson—Anto. Griffith 8 run (Dunlap pass from Anto. Griffith), 1:44.
Eielson—Anto. Griffith 1 run (North pass from Anto. Griffith), 8:24.
Eielson—Velez 53 run (Benjamin kick), 5:10.
Eielson—Safety (Seward snap out of the end zone), 3:16.
Eielson—Dunlap 45 run (Benjamin kick), 38-0, :28.9.
Eielson—Velez 19 run (kick failed), 8:30.
Eielson—Quitog 11 run (Benjamin kick), 7:10.
First downs 4 9
Rushes-yards 27-(-17) 26-417
Comp-Att-Int 2-12-2 3-9-0
Passing yards 44 37
Return yards 55 53
Punts-avg. 5-36.0 1-36.0
Fumbles-lost 1-1 2-1
Penalties-yards 8-65 7-60
RUSHING—Seward: Miranda 3-22, Martin 5-15, Atwood 3-(-1), Pahno 16-(-53). Eielson: Dunlap 10-190, Velez 5-106, Benjamin 5-72, Quitog 3-35, Anto. Griffith 3-14.
PASSING—Seward: Pahno 2-11-2-44, Hubbard 0-1-0-0. Eielson: Anto. Griffith 3-9-0-37.
RECEIVING—Seward: Atwood 1-44, Martin 1-0. Eielson: Dunlap 2-34, North 1-3.